The chairman of the German Consumer Organizations Federation (VZBV) has advocated for a climate-friendly infrastructure model that simultaneously ensures a certain quality of living for residents. Klaus Müller remarked in an interview with the daily Der Tagesspiegel that, in addition to regulating industry and pricing, Germany should be developing “climate-compatible infrastructure that guarantees inhabitants, for example, mobility — not only in major cities, but also in the countryside.”
“The German government has subsidized the new e-vehicle industry with billions of euros, but it has ignored the used automobile market.”
“The most important question is whether I can be confident that a used battery has been independently evaluated and is worth the money when I buy it,” he added. He also proposed that reparation payments made through the social security system be tailored to minimize societal divide. Those who travel by bus and train and live in well-insulated homes, for example, should be compensated more than those who drive an SUV and fly frequently.
He also chastised the current government for using electricity prices to fund its industrial policies, resulting in consumers paying the highest electricity prices in Europe while grid operators’ “pockets are being lined.”
In Germany, the question of who should pay for the climate transition has sparked heated debate. The present CO2 pricing on heating and transportation fuels has been criticized as being unjust to low-income households and has become a major campaign topic.